Joan Avalyn Dempsey

Director Emeritus

Booz Allen Hamilton Executive Vice President Joan Dempsey serves as Deputy Director of the Defense and Intelligence Group (DIG), the firm’s largest market-facing organization. She also leads the Consulting Functional Service Organization (FSO), responsible for driving capability and talent development in this foundational functional area for the firm. Previously Joan led the firm’s largest defense managed labor and intelligence accounts and was responsible for strategic development, execution, and day-to-day operations in each account. As a Senior Partner, she chairs the firm’s Sensitive Risk Review Board. For several years, Joan led the firm’s participation in the Aspen Ideas Fest where she continues as a frequent panelist on defense issues, cybersecurity and cyber operations, and women in leadership panels.

During a 25-year career in the federal government, Joan held political appointments twice: first, in President Bill Clinton’s Administration upon Senate Confirmation, she served as the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Community Management; and, in President George W. Bush’s Administration, as the Executive Director of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

Joan also spent 17 years as a senior civilian in the Department of Defense (DoD) as Deputy Director of Intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Agency, as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, and as the designated (acting) Assistant Secretary of Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence. She led major Pentagon budget staffs during the budget build-up in the 1980s and during the defense reductions of the 1990s and helped shaped budget strategy and execution in both decades. In 1997, she was awarded the Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award by DoD Secretary William J. Perry for her work on the Bottom Up Review and the first Defense Quadrennial Review. In 2010, Joan was appointed as a panel member for the Congressionally-directed Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel.

Joan began her federal civilian service in 1983 as a Presidential Management Intern. She also served concurrently for 25 years as a naval reserve intelligence officer and was on active duty as a US Navy cryptologic technician.

Joan was the 2004 recipient of the Intelligence Security Affairs Support Association William O. Baker Award, an honor she shares with two former Secretaries of Defense, three members of Congress, and two former Directors of Central Intelligence. In addition to the DoD Distinguished Civilian Service Award, she is a recipient of the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, and The American University Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership.

Joan was granted an honorary doctorate in 2004 from the National Intelligence University and currently serves on the Board of Visitors. She is a member of the board of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, and is an ex officio board member of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Officers Memorial Foundation. She also is a member of the Intelsat General board.